Where do you start with Step 4

12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.
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Postby GeoffS » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:02 am

We could argue about semantics here, which is pointless. I prefer to stick to the black bits in the BB, not what I add or interpret.

Yes he says commercial inventory, but then instructs us to deal only with flaws.

You added any other interesting bits?

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Postby Tim » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:04 am

DiggerinVA wrote:The words Commercial Inventory were quoted from the instructions on how to take a personal inventory. (page 76 in the 1st edition and page 64 in 2-4) They say what they say. I find I'm best to not invent things.

I understand the inventory in the same way, that it includes assets and liabilities. As I read page 64, it emphasizes the liability side more heavily, but it does read "One object is to discover damaged or unsaleable goods...." This implies more than one object. If this were the only object, the sentence would begin something like The only object..... showing that there are not other objects of an inventory.

Later, in the publication of the 12x12, which further develops the principles of the 12 Steps, it reads "The sponsor probably points out that the newcomer has some assets which can be noted along with his liablities. This tends to clear away morbidity and encourage balance. "(12x12, p. 46) Throughout this essay, the liabilities of an inventory are more strongly emphasized, but assets are clearly indicated as part of the inventory.

I am aware that there are some AAs who think that the 12x12 is as useless as tits on a boar hog, but there are others who think that the essays on each of the Steps in this volume are helpful in working and understanding the 12 Steps.

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Postby Dallas » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:19 am

I love the 12 & 12. For me, it has some of the most profound spiritual insights of any book that I have ever read.

Having said that, as I look back on my first time into AA... I took to reading the 12 & 12, instead of the Big Book. I wanted the "greater understandings" that Bill would have had... years after he made progress and understood things better!" :lol:

Then, I ended up drunk... and couldn't get sober. No matter how much 12 & 12 I read, nor how many AA meetings I forced myself to attend... I would be drunk in the meetings and couldn't get sober.

When my attempts to get sober became desparate enough... I'd drink and read the Big Book, trying to find out why and how "If this Bill Wilson character was able to get sober -- why couldn't I get sober?"

So, even while drinking... and without a glimmer of hope nor an expectation of myself ever being able to achieve sobriety again... I began to emulate that actions, while drinking... that Bill was doing while he was sober... and the next thing I knew... I got sober! And, I've been able to stay sober since then -- repeating what Bill did when he first got sober.

Later on, I fell in love with AA history, and Bill's personal history. I read the book "Pass it on" that Bill wrote about himself, and also "AA Comes of Age."

One of the first lessons in sobriety that had been passed on to me was: "Try to find someone in AA that has the kind of life that you want to have. Then, learn all you can about what and how they think, and the actions they take... and you, too, can experience what they experience."

As I looked over Bill Wilson's history... I noticed that there was a profound change in his life at the time he was writing the 12 & 12, compared to his life, when he was writing the Big Book.

When Bill was writing the Big Book, and living the instructions that he was writing in the Big Book, he made numerous references to his feelings, such as "feeling as though he had been rocketed into the 4th diminsion of life" and "feeling as though he was walking hand-in-hand with his Creator."

The odd thing that I observed was: When Bill, was writing the 12 & 12, he was going through severe manic episodes of depression. He felt that he was at the jumping off place. He would lock himself in his house and not want to come out. He sought psychiatric treatment and this was where they were experimenting with LSD, to see if it would help Bill... and if it helped Bill... they could pass on the LSD to the rest of the Fellowship! :lol: That would have been enough to get me into AA when I was a teenager!!! :lol: :lol:

In my own experience in sobriety... I went through a time similar to what Bill experienced... severe depression. Major manic depression. I was 10 years sober. Active in AA. Yet, here I was with such horrible depression that I felt that I had to turn to psychiatric help for a solution. The docs told me that they were going to prescribe some high-powered stuff for me, because my brain wasn't creating a balance of chemicals that it needed to create -- and, that it was a physiological problem.

I had known many AA's that had been locked up in nut houses before sobriety -- and they were able to achieve the good life -- without the high powered drugs and psychiatrists. My sponsor was one of them, and his sponsor had been another one of them. My sponsor had even tried to kill himself after getting out of the nut house and they gave him electric shock treatments in addition to the high powered drugs... and he was in and out of AA for years... and not able to get sober or stay sober.

Now, my sponsor is 51 years sober in AA. He doesn't take medication and hasn't taken medication or had psychiatric treatment since he got sober 51 years ago.... and, he has had a pretty good life and still, in his 80's... he has more energy and more activity than most people in their 30's have! :lol:

His sponsor had the same experience. After sobriety... and taking certain actions.. he never took another pill.

I'm not writing to convince anyone of anything... Just sharing my own personal story, my experiences... good and bad, like we do in AA.

When I started having the severe manic depression attacks at 10 years sober... hearing voices... seeing things... wanting to pull the blanket over my head, shaking and trembling, and wanting to lock myself in a closet and never come out... sober... I was at the jumping off place. And, I would have rather had a lobotomy... than go on the medication shuffle to the psyciatrist for the rest of my life.

That was when I made another important and major discovery about myself. Guess which book I was reading and which book I had gotten away from living???? :wink:

No. The book didn't do it to me... but, there is one book, that I have found that will "do for me"... what no other book has ever done for me! And, it's the Big Book.

When I make a conscious effort to precisely follow the extremely clear-cut instructions in the Big Book... my life changes for the better. No depression. No need to see head doctors. Reasonably healthy, sane, sober, happy, joyous, and free... most of the time.

I like what I found in the BB. When I follow those instructions as closely to the letter as I can... I feel as though I have been rocketed into the 4th diminsion... and that I, too, am walking hand-in-hand, with my Creator!


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Postby DiggerinVA » Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:34 am

Dallas thank You for asking about the tooth, It has been gone for 24 hours. I have slept (I work 3rd shift). That is getting better.

On why you would leave Disneyland after choosing to go there. I cannot speak for you. I can speak for me an alcoholic, because I can. I will take that phrase as doing the Third Step; it has worked for me. I would suggest to check out the Talk that was given by Dr. Tiebout on page 245-251 of AA Comes of Age. I was reading that Monday afternoon sortly after reading your post, funny how that works.

My Grandmother made a suggestion to me and that was to learn the wonderful way of life that is included in the Big Book.

I will rarely if ever refer to my sponsor and here is why. My 1st attempt at a sponsor had 5 years was the group’s rep to the State conference, but he had not worked the steps. Which is true of all but one of the men regularly in that group and he was sick from diabetics. I moved to another group and found another candidate. A very active guy with 12 years. He agreed. Well he was an institutional type gave me a list of 5 things to do to get sober. Meeting galore was the answer for everything with the last being the steps. He said I was not at step two after about a month. Trust me I had hit that a long time before that. So we fired each other. Then I prayed to God to sponsor me. A guy I was giving a ride to suggested someone to me. So I called him and we met for coffee. He agreed I was at Three. Then the next Sunday morning I sat down at this computer and typed a list. Two columns. A person, God or institution and what happened between us. I gave him this list and we meet on a Tuesday with me Qualifying at the meeting the day before (I had 18 months the 1st 13 with no meetings). That morning he asked me a question as to why someone was not on the list. I thought and answered. He was satisfied. We went over Page 65 the analysis portion and he declared me through step 5. One other thing he told me that day was that I was a lot farther along than I thought. I truly understand that today. Then we talked about 6 and 7. And the rest was in passing, nothing formal. One day I asked him why he did not formally go over the steps and his answer was I had read and understood the Big Book.

The Twelve and Twelve is a very useful book. I believe it's secret is in who it is intended for which is those who have applied the steps and those who do not need to have the steps applied (normal people). The problem that comes in is when a newcomer tries to us it for a guide to the steps. I found the more I knew about that period of AA the easier it is to understand.

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Postby Dallas » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:31 pm

Glad to hear the good news about your tooth!

Digger wrote:The Twelve and Twelve is a very useful book. I believe it's secret is in who it is intended for which is those who have applied the steps and those who do not need to have the steps applied (normal people). The problem that comes in is when a newcomer tries to us it for a guide to the steps. I found the more I knew about that period of AA the easier it is to understand.

So true! That's precisely what it says, also, in the introduction of the 12 & 12. The book was intended for non-alcoholics and for the more seasoned members, which I believe, those that have been sober for a while and are through taking the 12 Steps. Bill, also mentions there again, that the Big Book is the Basic Text of our society -- and that the 12 & 12 was in no way to replace or substitute what was in the Big Book.


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Postby Silverbullet » Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:30 pm

After working/taking Step 3 we "launched" and "at once" we started our 4th..??

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